Tom Brady certainly won the first year of his breakup with Bill Belichick, as the New England Patriots finished with a 7-9 record in 2020 and missed out on the playoffs. If last year told a story, it was that New England needs plenty of help on both sides of the ball.
Though the Patriots brought him back, Cam Newton sure wasn’t anywhere close to the MVP caliber quarterback he was just a few years ago and defensively, the Patriots ranked No. 20 in yards per rush attempt allowed and No. 24 in yards allowed per pass attempt.
New England Patriots 2021 Draft Picks
Round 1: No. 15, QB Mac Jones
Round 2: No. 38, DT Christian Barmore
Round 3: No. 96, DE Ronnie Perkins
Round 4: No. 120, RB Rhamondre Stevenson
Round 5: No. 177, LB Cameron McGrone
Round 6: No. 188, S Joshuah Bledsoe; No. 197, OT William Sherman
Round 7: No. 242, WR Tre Nixon, UCF
Cam Newton was re-signed to the team, but that certainly does not mean New England will stay away from the quarterback position. He threw more interceptions than touchdowns last season, as did backups Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in limited work. There doesn’t appear to be a QB of the future on the roster, and this year’s draft might be a good time to get one.
The Patriots made a number of moves on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, and they should have a much better unit in 2021. However, if there’s a place New England could add more depth with a playmaker or two, it’s at the linebacker position. The Patriots brought back Kyle Van Noy, who had a short stint with the Miami Dolphins, and signed former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon. New England struggled against the run last season, and another linebacker could help shoulder that load.
Dream first pick
Trey Lance, QB - North Dakota State
New England may not have a pick this high again at No. 15 and while it might be unrealistic any of the top crop of quarterbacks will fall to the Patriots, there is a good chance they trade up for one of them because they don’t have much of a choice. Is Bill Belichick going to head into another season without an answer at the quarterback position? It will cost quite a bit, but Patriots fans should be ecstatic if they take a big swing and go after Trey Lance as their long-term solution at the most important position.